mirage of Dutch Carnaval

Article published on Feb. 7, 2008
Article published on Feb. 7, 2008
During Carnival even the most sensitive subjects are ridiculed. This year right-wing politician Geert Wilders and the influx of Poles are objects of scorn. Christiaan argues that this can have a purifying effect.

By Christiaan Buijnsters

The following scenario could well happen if you are celebrating this year’s Carnival in the southern part of the Netherlands: You find yourself in the party hubbub when a drunk Geert Wilders (a well-known Dutch anti-islam politician who needs constant security vigilance) throws himself around your neck and invites you to have a drink. Where have his bodyguards gone?

All of a sudden you spot a second Geert walking towards you while Geert no. 3 is lying on the pave way, too drunk to stand on his feet. You start to wonder whether the consequences of your excessive alcohol consumption make you see things that are not there..... Don´t! It is all happening, as this year’s Carnival hype in the Netherlands is the Geert Wilders wig. Flabbergasted you snitch into the first bar on your way, where a dressed-up crowd is doing the conga on this years hit for Carnival “a van stuffed with Poles” of self-made man Johan Vlemminx. A sweaty Imam takes you by the shoulders and you join in. After second look at him you notice that he is actually a blond teenager. Five minutes later this same Imam is kissing a Geert Wilders with curved shapes…

After the public panic over a possible film by Geert Wilders and the fear of an influx of Poles to The Netherlands after opening the borders, people finally have a more humorous perspective on these themes. Even people in the northern parts of The Netherlands who do not celebrate Carnival can not deny this purifying effect of Carnival. But will it stay like this? What is the typical characteristic of Carnival? Indeed, for four days you are dressed up and not quite yourself. But as soon as the party is over the outfit is thrown in the wardrobe. Everybody is back to normal and we are engaged in a heated debate again.

More on Carnival on cafebabel.com

Een Bussie Vol Met Polen

Lyrics to "A van full of Poles"

And a van, and a van And a van full of Poles And a van, and a van In the morning, afternoon and evening Through our street there goes a van full of Poles. Look at them go, where do they come from? Where are they hidden? On the field or in construction. They come in plenty For some money and a can of beer, They have come to help, that is why they are here Indeed you can see them everywhere, it’s a border line case Still they are my idol. Wherever I am I wave at them, A van full of Poles. They have rented in our neighbourhood a house again, homey together. And in the evening when the work is done, The polka music will be played loudly.